QAnon believers think Trump will be inaugurated again on March 4
7 min read
Law enforcement is preparing for potential threats, but there's no evidence of mass mobilization yet.
QAnon is facing a turning point in the aftermath of President Joe Biden's inauguration.

The inauguration contradicted the movement's baseless conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump would return for a second term in order to confront a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles running the Democratic party.

With Trump no longer in office, some followers have abandoned their beliefs, attempting to make amends with family and friends they had alienated along their twisting path to an alternate reality originally concocted on 4Chan message boards.

But others have renewed their pledge of allegiance to "Q," the anonymous poster who purports to be a Trump adviser and their leader. They have tried to rationalize Biden becoming president in increasingly outrageous ways, claiming that Biden and Trump are working together and even that Trump and Biden somehow switched bodies. And they are now looking to March 4 as the next big watershed moment for their movement — the date that they believe Trump will once again be inaugurated.

It's unclear what will happen to QAnon once March 4 passes without the coup they have predicted coming to fruition. The movement could find itself increasingly shedding followers, who might be amenable to recruitment by white supremacist and far-right militia groups that share a common enemy in Democrats and political elites broadly. But it's likely that the movement will not crumble entirely given that following it in the first place has required adherents to push aside any cognitive dissonance.

"Conspiracies always have a way to explain out of what's happening, because the whole point is different versions of reality," Amy Iandiorio, an investigative researcher at the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, said.

QAnon disciples believe March 4 is the day Trump will return for a second term

QAnon followers started talking about March 4 beginning in early- to mid-January, after some were disappointed that the January 6…
Nicole Narea
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